DISCLAIMER. Codex Venator is one shared campaign for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, created by Andrea Lucca, Alex Melluso and Enrico Romeo. The setting deals with issues such as racism; misogyny; explicit violence; religious extremism; experiments on living creatures; power abuse; limitations on personal freedom and occultism. This is not a setting with light themes and, for this reason, it is good that the reading is reserved for an adult audience. In no case do the authors of these stories, of the adventures of Codex Venator or other material derived from it intend to support or justify illegal behavior that is detrimental to the dignity of people.
L'Ordo Fabularis thanks Magister Sermonis Alice Gritti for correcting the texts.
Warning: What you are about to read may contain spoilers on the Lucca Codex Venator season.
I am Rinaldo Colbassani Mansi, Divinator Magician, Hunter of the free Republic of Lucca. I write this diary as my "personal insurance", and as a support for future members of my family in anticipation of my death, whether premature or natural.
The situation here in Lucca is slowly returning to "normal", provided that something normal has remained in this world. We have just survived a terrible event: the Athesto dragon that we had tried to block in Carraia, that mammoth beast, has returned, recalled directly by the blasphemous relic that we brought to light a few days ago. He attacked the City with an overwhelming brutality and strength, and not happy he brought with him his evil progeny, hordes of Wyverns that clashed with the Hunters and soldiers of the Republic. We managed to repel the attack, but there were many casualties among civilians, among soldiers and even among the Hunters. That's why I intend to put on paper all the information about the Hunts made so far by me and my companions, together with my personal reflections on local events (ordinary or "extraordinary" that they are) and, possibly, the information that from today they will be given to me directly from above.
The attack of the dragon devastated various parts of the city of Lucca: many sections of the city walls were torn open by its claws, the trees that crowned them were burned in various areas, the walls are gross of the blood of living and people and more. now in the streets the wagons are carrying stacks of charred bodies. I constantly try to exploit my powers of Diviner to predict the future, however, I have long understood that it is never certain. Even where I act directly on it, events can always take unexpected turns. The dangers then, in addition to always being in ambush, increase in number, since it is no longer just aberrations that worry me.
For some time I have known that not all the people of the city are loyal to the Republic, indeed, there are groups of people who work against it, some of them perhaps even within the Dogma, but I am not yet sure of this. And as if that weren't enough, those damned teddy bears also bring themselves now, they do so bright and arrogant in praising their deeds, when in reality they do nothing but damage my family. I knew that Pino had been set up ...
And to say that they should instead be grateful, since I saved the life of half of their family, while now, since during the attack the bears in my group were forced to reveal uncomfortable truths, they want to get me out of the way!
What gratitude! They also tried to challenge me to a duel, just to cover my mouth. AH!
They will have to sweat a lot more to get rid of me. Anyway, better start from the beginning:
Codex Venator: Venatio - 01
My companions and I all woke up in the sanatorium of Santa Zita in the midst of the doctors, recently remembered and devoid of any memory of our last mission. In the room there were also Dogma Inquisitors, who told us what little they knew about our previous Hunt, how it ended so terribly, so much so that no one returned. I have tried several times to retrieve information and clues about what we had gone to hunt or where we had gone, but neither my family nor anyone else was able to tell me anything. I hadn't even left any traces or notes for myself in case of demise. And that's not like that from me ...
The only one who could have told us the events of that time would have been the Remembrance, but ... There were impediments in this regard.
"The Remembrant you had at that moment is under lock and key," said the Inquisitor in charge, "He made an immense effort to remember you all and this has led her to go mad."
Some of us began to ask questions about what had happened in the previous Hunt to reduce it so, but the ecclesiastical members did not know much more about this, since they had not been able to obtain any information from the Remembrant once the rite was over.
When we recovered we were all divided into new groups and sent to rest in the cells of the sanatorium for convalescence. I didn't know the comrades with whom I had been assigned that evening, so we started talking to each other and I discovered that it was a commoner of the Gens Julia and (unfortunately) two bears. With us there was also a surgeon sent to assist us during the recovery, who periodically checked our conditions at regular intervals through tools and questions. Around midnight we all went to sleep, and not long afterwards we were all awakened with a start by an excruciating and inhuman scream. We got up and dressed, then ran to the source of the noise. In the corridor our comrades were also intent on doing the same.
In front of the room where the cry seemed to have come, the members of the Dogma were in full agitation: the Inquisitor turned again to us in shock.
“Hunters, our cures have failed and the Remembrance has become an aberration. It has been completely corrupted by the Extraordinary Reality, it has freed itself, and is now roaming free around the sanatorium. The members of the Dogma will form a perimeter and block the exits, you gather your weapons and put an end to this threat! ”.
The groups of the rooms became hunting groups. We quickly named the Capicaccias and immediately scattered around the sanatorium, room by room, looking for any possible indication of his presence or his passage. The first rooms that touched my group were the cells next to ours, the refectory and the pantry, but no trace of the Remembrant. In the meantime, I brooded over the situation: but why did they make a group with all the Hunters and assign them only one Remembrant? On a tactical level, it is an unnecessary risk: usually several groups are organized like now, and one is given to each. Furthermore, if we faced something so shocking that we could defeat all the Hunters, it was clear that only one Remembrant would not have resisted the ritual. Or did they purposely want to test Remembrants' ability to resist the Extraordinary Reality? Did they want to see how many people they could bring back together? Perhaps these were the events that would later allow us to discover the modified ritual of Remembrance. In any case, that being had absolutely not to leave the sanatorium, so I resorted to the famous Mansi cunning and devised a system to speed up the search. I took some candles from the various lighted candelabra that were nearby and at each checked room I ran wax along the end of the door, so that it could not be opened without showing that it had broken. I also made a large "X" on the door, indicating that the room had been searched. Certainly an ordinary person would have understood the meaning of the "X", while the Remembrant, now mad, would have entered without worrying about the wax, thus betraying her position. The plan was simple and effective, however ... I would have noticed later that I had "overestimated" the cognitive abilities of some of my companions.
I had just sealed the fourth room when my group and I were attacked by surprise. The floor began to give off a black vapor, so thick that the color of the wood disappeared. We all dodged away, while two ethereal forms of floating skeletons with nails as long as claws emerged from the darkness, trying to grab us and cut us. We fought them to the best of our ability, but they kept sinking to the floor to avoid our attacks. However, by changing the timing to hit at the right time, we were right in the end and they dissolved back to the nothing they had come from. Shortly afterwards we passed the members of the Dogma guarding the stairs, who told us that the other Hunters had also fought these aberrations, at the same time as us.
They also told us that some of them had noticed the doors closed with wax. And they had opened them. Without putting the wax back after. Arming myself with patience, I explained the purpose of the wax to the members of the Dogma so that they would report it to the passing Hunters, in order to avoid further misunderstandings. Just before hearing the crash of a smashed door and the shouting of people, probably intent on arguing ...
"O Unnamed ... Give me the strength ..." I thought.
We resumed the tour passing through other cells and then the bathrooms, then arriving at a small chapel. The search seemed constantly unsuccessful, even contacting the other groups and checking the areas already scoured between us there seemed to be no trace of the beast. As I wondered if she hadn't run away by now, perhaps crossing the floor like the shadows she emanated, another inhuman scream was heard during the night. All the groups conversed again towards the origin of the noise, this time the refectory, in which a cerusian was found in the midst of uneven benches and scratched tables. His lifeless body lay on the ground in a lake of blood. With the belly completely torn and the internal organs exposed and partially eaten. All the groups entered the room and began to sift it from top to bottom, and just when one of us was about to open a sideboard, it exploded, giving off jets of flames as black as night.
The being that was once the Remembrant came out in all its horror.
He was twice the height of a normal person, the color of his skin was dark purple, with ebony veins, his face was a cross between that of a human being and a beast, with his mouth stretched forward, protruding fangs and two new rows of teeth above and below. The eyes had moved to the center of the skull merging into one larger, and this was completely white as if the irises were no longer there. Her fingernails had become sharp claws as long as a hand, while her black hair, in addition to having grown well beyond her feet, floated in the air around her in a surreal way, intertwining with each other at intervals as to form snakes , eager to cling to someone.
As soon as his feet touched the floor the area of darkness we saw when facing the shadows appeared and covered half of the room. The shadows were not long in coming. The room became a furious battlefield, with all of us launching on the attack to cancel those emanations and open a way to the Remembrant, while this continued to create new ones, in addition to giving us herself. But we are not mere soldiers, we are Hunters. Our stamina and strength allowed us to be right about them. We mowed the shadows and got to the Remembrant. One of our clerics blinded her with a flash of light straight in her face, allowing two hunters armed with spears to shoot forward and impale her on the wall with all the strength they had.The beast fell to the ground and dissolved in front of us emitting his last screams of pain.
Thus ended the hunt that took place in the sanatorium of S. Zita.